Friday, May 30, 2008

Sour Balls

Wherein I discuss nutrition and use countless unnecessary parentheticals (like this.)

Nutrition is always a big topic in the running community. Or the fitness community at large. Or the average American household. Or or or. You get the point. It’s important.

I’ve had several discussions recently on this topic. How does nutrition affect our running? How does it affect the way we live? Why does it prevent me from subsisting on a diet of gummy bears and rum?

Mrs. Nitmos has mentioned the desire to move away from food high in preservatives and go a bit more organic. Dean Karnazes, in The Ultramarathon Man, suggests a similar switch. Both mention the impact to the wallet could be substantial but worth it. (See, Mrs. Nitmos and Dean K. (short for Karnazes) share a common bond (though my wife (a non-runner (who finds Dean’s exploits bordering on pure lunacy)) has never passed out in the middle of the road due to exhaustion(Dean was running the Western States (Endurance) 100))(Crap, I’ve gone and got lost in parentheticals)(Not sure how to get out)(Let’s try this)this?)(Or this?).)

))(()))((( There that should about cover it. I’m out.

Obviously, there is some correlation between diet and running speed. There has to be doesn’t there? Theoretically, the fitter you are the faster you should be all other variables being equal. Carrying extraneous weight does impact your ability to optimize your speed.

But there must be a balance. I like to be fit. I like to take strolls around the mall in my speedo and cowboy hat. I like spray on tans and gold chains. I dream of racing in this ensemble one day.

But I don’t want to give up my weekly fat burger and fries from Wendy’s. Or, like last night, my between meals snack of sour candy balls, nachos with extra cheese, sour candy balls, Crunch Berries, left over pack of Skittles (half full – I’m not a pig), and more sour candy balls (and maybe a full lick down of the inside of the empty bag.)

Can I just take a time out and discuss sour candy balls for a minute? God, I love these things. If these were organic or natural in any way, I’d describe them as Nature’s Candy. Instead, it’s just really delicious Regular Candy. I’m not talking about the old timey hard sour balls (the kind Grandpa keeps in a bowl mixed with the root beer drops) but the gooey, chewy, taffy like SOFT sour balls. I could literally eat a bowl of them right now. And wash it down with some Captain Morgan’s. Screw this Nutri-Grain bar sitting on my desk. Your total fat grams – a measly 3 – aren’t going to cut it.

I have a hard time finding the soft sour balls. They are not sold in most convenience stores. The only place to reliably have them? MC Sports. No kidding. (BTW that’s not a sports related rapper but a Midwestern sports apparel/equipment shop.) I can look at shoe porn AND buy me some sour balls? God love it. Heaven on earth, truly.

Anyway, I got off track somewhere. I refuse to reread the mumbo jumbo I’ve already typed to figure out where. I can’t believe you’ve even stuck around this long. Since you’re still here, I’ll continue. (Pretty pathetic though if you ask me.)

Okay…cowboy hats and speedo’s…oh, yes, let’s talk nutrition. As a general rule, I try and eat more fruits and veggies as in between meal snacks. Unless, of course, there are sour balls around (see previous discussion) in which case I embark on an orgy of sugar fueled gluttony. The fruits and veggies seem to keep the waist line in check and provide me the added benefit of looking down my nose at my co-workers as they pump quarters into the vending machine for the 550 calorie king size Snickers bar (oh, man, I wish they had sour balls in there!) I’ll say, “Wow, that’s a lot of calories. About a quarter of your daily allowance. I’m just having me some carrots. Notice my cut abs?” At which point, I raise my shirt and smile. People like me.

When it gets closer to race day, I try to swear off sugars completely. And by “swearing off”, I mean wait an extra hour before dipping my hand into the bulk sweet tart bag.

Sugars, alcohol, and everything that tastes good or gets you inebriated is supposed to be harmful on race day. Like a good little teetotaler, I refrain as best as my will power will allow at least two weeks out before the race.

And I have to admit, I do feel a bit calmer, gaunter, and, generally, less assholeish the longer I stay off the devil’s fruit. Not sure how you translate this to race times though. F.M.S. research labs will have to come up with another over simplistic formula for this.

Come post race, however, I can’t shovel it in fast enough. Candy? Yes. Beer? Need you ask? Extra vicodin from cousin’s back surgery? Yes, please. Sour balls? I love you.

It’s amazing I don’t bloat out 30 lbs in just a couple of weeks. Since Boston, I’ve been on a month long, embarrassing tour of the worlds worst foods. So far, I haven’t gained any weight. My hoo-ha is still visible when looking straight down.

To recap (as I know most of you have a very limited attention span):

- Take nutrition seriously
- Eat your greens and fruits.
- Avoid overuse of parentheticals.
- Candy sour balls are delicious.
- Eating right helps your race performance
- Post race, give into cravings and overindulge to the point of being obnoxious.
- Retain visual connection with your hoo-ha.

Happy trails.

Last night, another failed Limbo Run. Crap, I dropped too many seconds in the second mile causing me to misjudge the third mile.

4.5 miles
6:37 pace

Limbo attempt full miles of 6:53, 6:34, 6:37 (missed!), 6:21.


Danielle in Iowa said...

If I was running a limbo run, I wouldn't be able to get a generic Caribbean tune out of my head the entire time. Did you perhaps hit the rum at mile 3?

SJ Goody said...

I hate growing up for the sole reason that running no longer means that I can eat whatever I want... whenever I want. Its all planned and counted... and stupid pragmatic.

Meg said...

I read that with facial expressions alternating between confused furrowed brow and cracking up. I'll have to be more careful next time I go to any malls in MI.
Btw, isn't a "hoo-ha" a, um, womanly part?

Viper said...

I second Meg's hoo-ha definition. You might have to subtract points for your blunder, but then you can add them back doubly for your acquiescence.

Are you talking about those red sour balls with the hard shell and soft gooey middle? Even if you're not, I've now got a serious candy jones.

Xenia said...

Meg, that is exactly what I was going to say!

Dude, hoo-has are women's bits. I am assuming you're a guy, so you definitely do not have that kind of equipment. If you want to name then call them meat and two veg or dart and etceteras, or anything else for that matter. Just not hoo-ha.

That is all.

Marcy said...

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA OMG between the post/the hoo ha blunder and the comments I am LMAO!

"hoo ha" "hoo hoo" "cooter" or as I like to call "Pam" (after Pamela Anderson) is strictly for the lay-deez. I'd just roll with "wang" for the dudes. Or as David likes to call it "wedding tackle"

Now I have to step away and wipe the tears from my eyes. Oh my.

nwgdc said...

when you scratched your way out of your parentheticals, you actually ended with 3 OPEN parentheses. so haha, jokes on you, you still are inside 3 parentheticals! SUCKAAAH!

RazZDoodle said...

mmmm.....balls and rum

Nitmos said...

What a lamentable error, though, for posterity I refuse to make an update as these hilarious comments then would make no sense . Perhaps I'm trying to tell you all something?

KimsRunning said...

I also came in to ask you about the hoo-ha, but I see it's been addressed.

As to the candy thing...try Starburst. My husband is a freak over those things. I have to hurry up and unwrap them for him as he eats them so he can get a steady rhythm of speed feeding himself these candies. (true love, huh?) If I'm lazy I just buy him a 5 lb bag of skittles, no need to unwrap those.

Thanks for my blog post, and you're so right. It's become the funniest thing I've ever done....LOL (but not funny enough to do again)

Sarah said...

On vegetables: nothing will guilt/force you to eat more veggies than buying into a CSA farm share for a season. I paid $500 for once-a-week boxes of vegetables from now until the end of October ($500/20 weeks = $25/week). It's probably more expensive than buying produce at the store, but I get a warm fuzzy liberal do-gooder feeling by buying organic veggies from a farm 10 minutes from my house. And then of course those veggies sit in my fridge and I can't let them go to waste (the guilt factor is strong). Thus since picking up my first box on Tuesday I have eaten more spinach that I have in probably the last two years. I still have three bunches to go. And I still have two heads of lettuce and a bunch of radishes...dear god, what have I gotten myself into? Especially since my husband hates 95% of vegetables? I'm going to turn green.

And, I've come to the conclusion that drinking the night before a race actually helps me. After all, I did set a new PR in a 5K the day after I drank an entire 6-pack of beer at a party. I plan on using the same tactic for my 10K on Sunday. Tomorrow is burgers and beers night.

Kevin said...

Sour balls and rum, an interesting combo. That speedo and cowboy hat might go over well in the Kona Underpants Run

Russ said...

perhaps you had just come out of the swimming pool ala george from seinfeld when you made the hooha comment...but definitely an embarrassing slip.

you already know the bane of my nutritional life...the dreaded kroger peanut butter cookie.

Marci said...

Funny post. Nutrition is definitely a huge issue for me. I went to bootcamp for runners last night and afterwards we all go out to celebrate and I ofcourse celebrate with two glasses of wine, buffalo chicken strips and samosas. I think I'll bookmark this post.

Jess said...

Hahahha after reading half these comments I am also tearing up...this is apparently unacceptable work behavior...must find tissues on my desk and stop making obnoxious laughing noises so coworkers stop looking at me funny

Vanilla said...

I agree with everyone's definition of hoo ha, but I didn't see the problem with Nitmos using the word! You just keep lining them up and I’ll knock ‘em down!

/Sorry couldn't resist.

Sarah said...

I just laughed my hooha off at my desk.

aham23 said...

“Wow, that’s a lot of calories. About a quarter of your daily allowance. I’m just having me some carrots. Notice my cut abs?” At which point, I raise my shirt and smile. People like me.


blog quote of the year. i vote. the only vote. you win. funny and true. i am you at my work place, but they dont like me. :)


Betsy said...

I figure that running allows me to balance sour balls and vegetables as part of my daily complete nutrition. And really, so long as you can still see your hoo-ha (or, as I'm sure you meant to say, pipper(as we call it at my house)), you're cool.

SLB said...

Man that gold chain will do nothing but chafe! Can you get a Headsweat Stetson?

And yes I see a load of houses and no people, what actually amazes me is where they build houses, I am often at a loss when trying to figure how you would get to it?

thebets said...

Ummmm....I need a visual of those sour balls (dirty?). Not sure what candy you are talking about, but they sound good.

Sugar is definitely my nutrition pitfall too. I think I ate an entire jewelry box of candy necklances and rings the day before my first marathon....probably not the most brillant idea I've had.

Brian said...

Dude, your just too funny, "less assholeish the longer I stay off the devil’s fruit".
"I don't have a drinking problem, I have a people problem, I have drinking solution".

sRod said...

So yo've already been raked across the coals for the hoo-ha bit. Although I have to say that hoo-ha is more favorable than the slang they have for man parts: junk, dong, schlong, shaft, trouser snake, or mangina.

MizFit said...

have you ever seen a bodybuilder IMMEDIATELY post competition?

it's sour balls and then some :)

M., who actually ran his morning!

Viv said...

Thanks for the recap. I was still lost somewhere that looked like this (())(?!? What the? ()()
I am loving assholeish. Now those are gems for my vocab.